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Top 10 tips for Twitter journalists users

Here is the top 10 value tips for journalists to use on Twitter.

Top 10 tips for Twitter journalists users

1 Using twitter for Reporting news

When break news appears in your community, whether it is an air crash, a terrorist attack, an earthquake, a flood, a mass murder, or a blizzard, people that see or experience news events always want to release them.

The challenge for journalists has always been to find witnesses or people witness the news event. By using Twitter's advanced search capabilities, you can quickly find and connect to them and embed their words or messages into your stories.

2. Focus on people and organizations with newsworthiness on twitter

Public figures and organizations in your community use Twitter to post messages, express their opinions and interact with community users. These are all newsworthy content or event. If you don't take the initiative to follow these individuals and organizations that are in step with you, you may miss out on their press releases, press conferences, and even public speeches.

3. using twitter as a Crowdsourcing tool

If you develop a group of potential followers who your share your interests, or if you often interact with them effectively, your followers can quickly help you answer questions and help you quickly find relevant reporting resources.

Finding the right news source can take a lot of time for journalists using traditional methods. For a journalist who uses Twitter efficiently, it takes only a few minutes to find the lead. Although you may need to verify these leads, and this process must be done in the traditional way.

Twitter resource crowdsourcing isn't always useful, but you only need a minute or two to make a valid Twitter crowdsourcing message. If it doesn't work, you can return it in the traditional news sourcing way. Other things that can happen are that you will find some useful resources on Twitter, save some time, and then you focus on using the traditional way to try to find the last few news sources you need.

Andy Carvin of the US Public Radio (NPR) is an expert on Twitter crowdsourcing. You can see how his Twitter attention has helped him confirm Israel’s conjecture of arming the Libyan opposition and the news that helped him to expose the arrest of a gay girl in Damascus, who finally proved to be a straight man in Georgia, USA.

4. Search for news sources on twitter

If you don't have a lot of followers, or if your followers doesn't know the news lead you want, Twitter can still help you find the source of the news. Use the advanced search feature to search for people who may be relevant to your topic in your community by keyword. Or check out the tags that are relevant to your topic of interest to see if someone is posting information that might help you. You can either search for names or keywords in the Twitter user profile, find people who work in the company you want to interact, or people who are unable to reach through the normal channels or ways but are posting relevant information.

5. Collect community quotes from twitter

Random interviews on the street are a "characteristic" of news reporting. If you are troubled by this job, it is best to complete it quickly and transition to other things and find a better way to use your time. Whether you're on the street, in a mall, or in a community event, you'll often meet people who don't want to talk to you, don't even understand what questions you asked, and don't have any interest in talking about them. It is a good result to get a valuable answer from 5 people. But If there is only one answer of 10 question, then there is a problem.

Ask your question on Twitter (if you have built a large interactive followers), you will get a quick response, and everyone wants to say something about it (although maybe some people won't be so interesting). That is far better than traditional street interviews.

One thing to note: If you use this technique over and over again, you may want to avoid those who will not answer your questions every time. But too many reporters know how to avoid these possible doubts, so this is not a problem on Twitter.

6. The idea of the story from twitter

You can get the news idea of the story from Twitter in two ways:

Focus on followers dialogue. When you check your tweets, maybe a message can represent a good story idea. Following the same topic of tweets may remind you that something are going in an interesting direction.

Crowdsourcing story ideas. When I was the editor of the Cedar Rapids Gazette, Molly Rossiter was our religious journalist. She has established strong connections on Twitter in a large number of different religious groups in the community. When there is a holiday or a big event, Molly will ask her Twitter users about the story and often get valuable help.

7. Save time

I don't want to pretend that Twitter doesn't waste time. Of course you can spend hours reading Twitter content, responding, and even tracking the links that come with it. (I will update the article on Twitter's time management skills as soon as possible) but you should also know that sensible Twitter usage can save you time.

The above mentioned points can help you save time when you use Twitter for news reporting, find resources, answer questions or generate ideas. Although I am not an active journalist, I have written a lot about news digitization and journalism, so I am more like an active journalist in the digital field. Twitter can help me quickly find all kinds of news and comments instead of waiting for content from other news sources.

8. Dissemination of content

This is what many journalists and news organizations recognize on Twitter as the most valuable point.

When you post a story or blog post and share it with a Twitter community, you'll notice that traffic will grow immediately. Every day when I post something new on my blog, Twitter is the main source of blog traffic. This does not mean that Twitter is the best source. Many newsrooms get better results from Facebook. So you need to rely on which one to use.

It also brings more traffic when your followers are about forwarding your links. If you have a lot of followers, such as Jay Rosen, Jeff Jarvis or Andy Carvin, when I forward the link to my blog, I can almost see the instantaneous increase in traffic.

9. Continue the conversation

When you post a link to your latest story, video, image or blog, send one or two messages to invite your followers to discuss. Post some questions and give feedback on their answers. They may give you some answers. Their information may help you update the news. They may give you some valuable feedback. They may thank you for communicating with them.

10. Respond to criticism and problems

Journalists who regularly use Twitter will always read some criticisms and questions about their work (or some of the stories they missed or choose to give up). Some of them are beneficial and some have no value.

Useful criticism makes you a better journalist (and your response may help you build a valuable connection, both with critics and those who pay attention to and appreciate you.

Some questions or criticism may provide an idea or a subsequent perspective for the news story. You may be able to answer their questions, and sometimes you will miss content that you think others care about (or content that is ignored because of page space or broadcast time constraints).

I even encourage journalists to reach out to critics who are hostile or unscrupulous. Some of them may think that you are not paying attention to them, and you can change their opinions through polite answers. On more than one occasion, I was answering some unreasonable information, and then turned these unreasonable messages into a friendly conversation, and finally got an apology or thanks from them.